Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

a powerful call to work while it is day! the night cometh fast on, in which no man can work!

“Tuesday will be an eventful day to our young friends. I hope you and I shall bear them on our hearts before the throne of God. If they begin their journey in his fear, he will be their guide and shield all the wilderness through. He has been so to all who have put themselves under his care.

“ I wrote to Alexander last week, and also to Mr. Dick, on the subject of his going this harvest to Selkirk. I do not expect that the Presbytery will admit him as a student of divinity, but only as a hearer. This, however, will be of great advantage to him. The journey and change of air will confirm his health, and prepare him for the confinement and labours of the coming winter, at college. In — 's letter to him I hope she will write in a very serious manner, and urge upon him the necessity of living near to God, and of attending to the great mental preparation for the ministry—the regeneration of the heart. Without this, every thing else is nothing.

“ I am interrupted ;- love to all. Farewell.”

Owing to the dampness and coldness of the season, and his frequent exposure to its influence, he was seized, at this period of his visit to Ireland, with very alarming symptoms of internal weakness, the effect of which was to bring a cloud over the fair prospects he cherished as connected with his journey into the northern counties. The following letter to Mrs. Waugh shews how severely he felt this disappointment, and with what holy jealousy he watched over the state of his own heart, and the motives that prompted the interest it took in the increasing success of the missionary cause :-

Dublin, July 27, 1812. The disappointment of my wishes, in regard to my journey to the North, has shaken my mind and disturbed my peace, in no common measure, during the whole of last week. I had set my heart upon it, and had written to the ministers where I was to preach during this week and next Sabbath, and was arranging the places for the three weeks to come. After the physicians had forbidden me to adventure, I was still in hope of being able to go. Indeed, on Saturday, after I had written to you, I felt the impulse so strong, that I sat down to write to the ministers. But Mr. Jack and my other friends convinced me that, under all the circumstances, the end would be more likely to be gained next summer, by a minister on horseback, and who should devote at least four months to this object. A letter I received at the same time from one of my most zealous friends at Tullach, the Rev. Mr. Johnstone, stating the painful pressure on the poor, and the contributions which the opulent are obliged to make to prevent absolute perishing for want, strengthened what was said against my journey. My mind sunk under the load! Perhaps God was displeased with me, as seeking more the establishment of my own character as a labourer in the vineyard than the honour of his name. I fear I was enjoying, in the fond anticipation of my success,— Is not this the Babylon that I have built ?

“I have the consolation, however, of having been the instrument of awakening a deep interest in the minds of many of God's ministers and people in behalf of the heathen, which will be cherished by our correspondence with them; and, I hope, by some ministers sent over next summer. An auxiliary society is also established here : it was finally settled on Saturday. This will keep alive the flame in Dublin, and be the medium of communication with the North.

“ Yesterday, Mr. Jack preached in Dr. Macdowall's meeting-house, and I addressed the congregation on the

object and present state of the mission. We got 1001. 18s. In the evening I preached in York Street, and got 341. I shall probably preach in Mr. Cooper's on Sabbath, and may get a collection there also. I have prepared Mr. Raffles for making the promised collection in Liverpool on Sabbath week. Mr. Jack leaves us to-night. My complaint is somewhat relieved; but the weather is so cold and damp and rainy, that I long to be out of this country. The Rev. Mr. Davis, in York Street, bas been severely afflicted with the same complaint, and unable to preach : Mr. Jack, also, slightly.

“ I have been out all this morning begging. The rich folks are almost all in the country. I long for a little rest and warmth, and hope to have it at Liverpool for a day or two.

“ P.S. We expect an annual missionary meeting in Dublin, like that in London."

At Sea, Tuesday morning, August 4, 1812,

on deck of the packet to Holyhead. “ The hurry and bustle attendant on departure prevented me from writing to you yesterday from Dublin. The packet is just now tolerably steady. I have made a good breakfast. Snowdon, the Ben Nevis of Wales, with his brothers of inferior stature, the other mountains of Carnarvon, full in view. My heart, I trust, is not insensible to the gracious care of Providence in preserving me from accidents, in causing to abate a distemper which at one time rather alarmed me, and in giving me favour in the eyes of strangers, and opening their hearts to the claims of sympathy in behalf of the poor heathen ; so that I have been able to bring with me between 3001. and 4001., and am allowed to cherish the reasonable hope of a foundation being laid (in the auxiliary society instituted and completely formed at Dublin) of much future benefit to the parent society in London. These things, with the assurance conveyed to me of the peace, and, I hope, minisbes my

of visiting the idea, tho

spiritual prosperity, of my dear people, have awakened a spirit of unfeigned gratitude, this morning, in my heart, and disposed me to write this scrawl to my best friend on earth, to make her partaker of my joy, and augment her pious gratitude to the God of all our mercies. The only thing which diminishes my satisfaction is the disappointment of my desire and hope of visiting the north of Ireland. But I have not utterly abandoned the idea, though you may be well assured I will do nothing rashly or unadvisedly. You will see how cautiously I have expressed myself in the enclosed letter, of which I sent off about one hundred, yesterday, to the different ministers in the northern counties. Little money, I well know, is to be had in several congregations; not twenty shillings could be expected this year, when for some weeks there was almost a famine, before the potatoes were fit to be used. But money was not my chief aim. The great object is to impress on the minds of good men a sense of the sacred nature and infinite importance of sending the Gospel to the heathen ; to awaken a spirit of prayer; and to institute small fellowships, or penny societies, among the young; and thus prepare the people for affording pecuniary aid on a future occasion. It was on this my heart was set, and from this it will not easily be diverted; though, alas! as to personal labours and exertions, I may truly say, with Dr. Young, that

Guilt chills my zeal, and age benumbs my powers.'

Yet, if ever a cause demanded the unceasing application of apostolical faculties and a seraph’s ardour, it is the cause of sending the Bible to the ends of the earth. Let me crave the aid of your prayers, my dearest woman, and · let me beseech you not to think, that in this pursuit I am unduly forgetful of the interest of my own dear family and church. My own heart does not condemn me; and I hope that Divine Providence will graciously make up any loss which our dear or any of the other children may

have sustained by my absence. You are before my eyes, and I do not know that I have ever gone to the Throne of Grace and forgotten you and my dear people. Pray for me. Greatly do I need an interest in your prayers, and your prayers offered up through the Advocate will not ascend in vain. • “Every kind care has been taken of me in Dublin; so that by Dr. Roe's medicine, and my landlady's motherly attention, the complaint has entirely abated; and I hope my constitution will eventually be improved by it.

“ We heard of Mr. Jack's arrival at Holyhead on this day week; and in the course of the day (for the wind is feeble and not very fair) I hope to be able to raise my Ebenezer in the Isle of Anglesea also to the Jehovah of the Christians, where the ancient Druids for ages reared their altars of stone, and on them offered sacrifices of men to their Molochs. O! the blessed change on human hearts which the Gospel produces, when we honestly surrender our souls to its purifying influence!

“ But it freshens, and I can scarcely finish the sentence. I wish you may be able to decipher what I have scrawled. I shall forgive the breeze that brings me nearer to you and my dear children and people, when it has allowed me to add that I ever am, “My dearest Mary, most affectionately yours,

“ ALEXANDER WAUGH. " P.S. Love to Mr. Young, the elders, and all—all.”

The collections procured by him and Dr. Jack in Ireland amounted to 3931. 12s. 8d. On his way to Ireland, he had preached and collected in the West of England for one month; and on his return, he was employed in the same manner during another month, till Sept. 10, when he had collected 4941. 2s. 10d. ; so that within three months

« ZurückWeiter »